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How Districts in California are Maximizing Student Success Through Structured Partnerships

January 29, 2024 2 min read
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In today’s educational landscape, the integration of technology has become pivotal for modern learning environments. However, the effectiveness of these tools relies heavily on the strategic partnership between school districts and edtech providers. Achieving synergy in this collaboration demands a structured approach and shared objectives.

Define Goals

The first crucial step is alignment of goals between providers and districts. When a district establishes and shares its overall objectives with a provider, it sets the foundation for a fruitful partnership. Establishing clear, feasible goals, along with a framework for measurement, ensures that both parties are working towards a shared vision of success.

Execute a Plan

Next is an agreement on implementation plans. A meticulously planned roadmap for implementation, encompassing onboarding procedures, tool utilization dosage, and stakeholder communication, must be agreed upon by both the district and the vendor. Moreover, each party must be responsible for their role in the plan and be prepared to fulfill their tasks.

Measure Performance and Outcomes

The last crucial piece to a successful partnership is the measurement of impact. Consensus on how, when, and which metrics will be used for evaluation is critical. Defining these metrics collaboratively ensures transparency and accountability, allowing both parties to actively participate in assessing the effectiveness of the tools and strategies employed.

The process becomes cyclical, as measures allow not only for each party to view successes, but also areas of opportunity to continue improving the outcomes and their relationship. The process repeats with adjusted goals after each round of measure is completed and revised goals are determined.

For example, Paper, an educational technology company focused on high-impact tutoring, independent practice, and career planning, approaches partnership with a three-step process: define, execute, and measure.

The results that have come from this process have been useful in seeing impact and determining best practices for the tool. One district in California saw impressive i-Ready ELA growth in diverse subgroups, with non-white students who used Paper scoring 6 points higher compared to their white counterparts, female students scoring 5 points higher than males, and English Language Learners (EL) scoring 7 points higher than non-ELs. Furthermore, additional studies show habitual users, those who use the product three or more times a month, see a 5% increase in their end of year ELA percentile for every month spent as a regular user, leading to clear dosage recommendations.

Spring i-Ready Scores by Subgroup - iReady ELA Benchmark Spring Scores - Race [White - 580, Non-White - 586]; EL [EL - 592, Non-EL - 585]; Gender [Female - 585; Male - 580]

Ultimately, fostering student learning outcomes demands more than just a transactional relationship between districts and providers. It necessitates a robust partnership, fidelity in implementation, and an unwavering dedication to measurable impact. The synergy between school districts and edtech providers holds the key to unlocking the full potential of technology in enhancing student success. To read more about Paper’s approach and recent impact results, click here.

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